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Castles in Europe evolved from the first wooden forts made to lodge a garrison to spectacular stone structures able to support a small army for extended.

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Presentation on theme: "Castles in Europe evolved from the first wooden forts made to lodge a garrison to spectacular stone structures able to support a small army for extended."— Presentation transcript:

1 Castles in Europe evolved from the first wooden forts made to lodge a garrison to spectacular stone structures able to support a small army for extended times. Each country in Europe developed its own architectural designs copying from that of the castles in other countries. The race to build castles as the best military defenses, turned into a competition for the most magnificent architectural designs in the world.

2 There was no standard shape and structure for a castle
There was no standard shape and structure for a castle. The builders adapted their designs to suit the site, the budget and the military dangers of the day. Look at the pictures and look at all the basic parts that make up the anatomy of a Medieval castle. The castles  all look very different from each other, yet they are all made up of the same basic components. See if you can identify the components all of these castles have in common. How would geographic location and the topography of the site influence a castle's design?

3 Stone, mortar, wood-these were the simple components used to construct some of the most heavily fortified structures ever created. Early castles relied on the surrounding landscape to provide much of the protection. Early castles were made of wood and built on hills of "mottes". Surrounded by a high, wooden palisade, motte and bailey castles were used widely until the Norman invasion of These fortifications proved too easy to burn, and stone was then used more frequently. Castles were rarely the most comfortable place to live, with only the lord and his family given adequate heat and other amenities. Medieval castles were built for safety, not comfort. Windows were little more than slits in the wall. Cold, stone floors and walls rarely kept in heat, and water had to be brought by the bucketful throughout the castle. Walls were built high to protect from advancing armies, and to provide needed lookout positions. The simple stone and mortar architecture made repairs fairly easy to make. It was not uncommon for stones to be used over and over with each successive castle built on the same location. Cannons and gunpowder made the castle ineffective and these large structures evolved in the later Middle Ages and Renaissance to become manor homes and palaces.

4 Research shows that castles served a very utilitarian role in feudal society. It was protector, visible landmark, and source of pride among many communities. Medieval societies soon witnessed the erection of stone towers and walls in every country. Simple Norman donjons evolved into more elaborate strongholds with towering walls, defensive systems and could house sometimes thousands of people. The castle remained a prime military resource for much of the Middle Ages. Military tactics centered on the taking of castles, and weapon technology improved over the centuries to exploit any weakness that could be found in castle architecture. It wasn't until the late 1600s, when gunpowder and artillery became more effective, that the castle became obsolete.

5 At first, most castles had just one central tower, called the keep
At first, most castles had just one central tower, called the keep. A keep usually had two or three floors, with one big room on each floor. There was one big chimney running up the side, so each room had one giant fireplace to heat it. The castle of the kings of France at Vincennes is a good example of this kind of castle. Other examples are the Tower of London, or the Conciergerie in Paris. To make it easier to defend these castles, they had only very small slits for windows, and very thick walls. Around the keep there was often a deep, wide moat full of water, and you could only cross the moat by going over a drawbridge. To see a good example of an early castle with a moat, check out William the Conqueror's castle at Caen. Later on, the countryside got safer. The kings were stronger and could control the bandits better. So rich people began to be less worried about safety and more interested in comfort in their houses. They started to add on rooms around the keep, and to make bigger windows with glass in them, and they put permanent stone bridges over the moats instead of drawbridges. Both Carcassonne and the Tower of London have later additions like this. Then in the 1200s, people in Europe learned about gunpowder from China, and by the 1400s they built cannons that could blow up even thick castle walls, so castles became pointless. By the end of the Middle Ages, people weren't really living in castles anymore.

6 Part of the purpose of a castle was to be impressive, and to be an assertion of the lord’s power over the area. It also served as a warning to others who might want to take over that part of the land. Since a feudal lord was the vassal of the king, castles at key points in the landscape showed how powerful and in control the king was. Sometimes an entire castle was covered with a layer of whitewash to make it seem even more splendid, especially if it was on a hill, and seen from a distance. Pennants of bright colors, with the lord’s symbol, would fly over the towers. If a tournament or celebration was planned, bright flags might be hung from towers and doorways.      Castles were usually on high ground, which was generally not flat, and there were differing risks of attack from different directions. Castles were often not symmetrical, because they were built according to an individual landscape, and the specific needs of the time. Each castle was arranged differently, and not all parts stayed as they were originally built. Successive lords, who might want more room, or a more impressive sight, added rooms, walls or towers, as they saw fit.

7 Barmkin: A yard surrounded by a defensive wall
Arrow Loops - These were slots in the walls and structures that were used to shoot arrows through. They came in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Ashlar - Blocks of smooth square stone. They can be of any kind of stone. Bailey: This is a courtyard or open space surrounded by walls.The walls that make up the Bailey are also considered to be part of the Bailey. A castle could have several. Sometimes they were called the upper bailey and lower bailey or the west bailey and east bailey. Barbican: A stone structure that protected the gate of a castle. Think of it as a gatehouse. It usually had a small tower on each side of the gate where guards could stand watch. Barmkin: A yard surrounded by a defensive wall Bartizan: A small turret at the corner of a tower or wall. It is usually at the top but not always. Bastion: A tower or turret projecting from a wall or at the junction of two walls Battlements: These are the structures at the tops of the walls surrounding a castle. Picture what you have seen in the movies where archers are at the top of the wall and firing arrows between open slots down on the attackers. These shapes at the top (Where the archers position themselves for battle) are called battlements. They are also referred to as crenellations. Buttress: A masonry projection used as additional support for walls. Notre Dame Cathedral is a good examlple of the use of Buttresses. Corbel - A stone projection from a wall. It supports the weight of a battlement. Courtyard - The open area with the curtain walls of a castle. Curtain Wall - The stone walls around a castle. Drawbridge - This was a wooden bridge in front of the main gate of the castle. In the early centuries of castles it was moved horizontal to the ground and in the later centuries it was built so it could raise up in a hinged fashion. Dungeon - A deep dark cell typically underground and underneath a castle. This is a derivative of the word Dunjon. Donjon - this is an old word for a great tower or a keep. Embrasure - An opening in a parapet wall. GateHouse - A strongly built and fortified main entrance to a castle. It often has a guard house and or living quarters. Hall or GreatHall - This is the major building inside th walls of a castle. Hoarding: a covered wooden gallery above a tower the floor had slats or slots to allow defenders to drop object on besiegers. They could also drop liquids and projectiles. Keep - This definition changed slightly over the centuries of castle building. In the early years of stone castle building the Keep was a standalone structure that could be defended and often square in shape. Over the centuries these structures were improved upon and built around. Thus a castle was made that was a larger and more complex structure. The main tower that this was built around was still called the Keep and it was usually the tallest and strongest structure in the castle. It was also used as the last line of defense during siege or attack.

8 Machicolations - The openings between the corbels of a parapet
Machicolations - The openings between the corbels of a parapet. They form areas that stick out along the top of the wall and defenders inside the castle can drop items like boiling water and rocks onto attackers.  Merlons - The parts of parapet walls between embrasures Moat: A Body of water surrounding the outer wall of a castle. It was often around 5 to 15 feet deep and it was sometimes within the outer wall -between the outer wall and the inner wall. The primary purpose of the moat wasn't to stop attackers it was to stop tunnelers. Tunneling under a castle was an effective means of collapsing the walls or infiltrating it. A moat would cause any tunnel to collapse. Motte And Bailey: This isn't part of a castle it is the  predecessor to the castle. A Motte and Bailey was an early form of castle where a large mound of dirt was built up then a wooden fortification was placed on top. This wooden fortification was in the shape of a timber fence that formed a circle like a crown at the top of the mound. The Mound is the motte, and the timber fence and the space it enclosed is the Bailey. Murder Hole: An opening in the roof of a gateway over an entrance. Used to drop projectiles or other things onto the besiegers. Oubliette: A deep pit reached by a trap door at the top. Prisoners were kept in it. Palisade: A defenisive fence Portcullis - This is a metal or wood grate that was dropped vertically just inside the main gate to the castle. Postern - A small gate at the back of a castle. Often considered to be a "Back Door". Rampart: Picture the battlements in the previous definition. The battlements are the top sections of the outer wall of the castle. Now to access these battlements the archers would stand on a walk way that was a wall in it's own right. This walkway is built right up against the outer wall and is called the Rampart. Ward - The area inside the walls of a castle. Often also called the Courtyard. Yett: Iron gates at the entrance of a castle











19 http://medievalcastles. stormthecastle. com/parts-of-a-medieval-castle

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